Real Madrid will consider appointing Mauricio Pochettino and former star Raul as their next manager if they decide to sack under-pressure Zinedine Zidane, according to reports. Real suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League opener on Wednesday after being 3-0 down at half-time and they were also beaten by LaLiga new boys Cadiz last weekend.
Zidane took over an hour to arrive for his post-match press conference on Wednesday and is under pressure going into El Clasico with Barcelona on Saturday.
According to AS, Real President Florentino Perez could consider Pochettino and Raul as possible replacements if they part company with the Frenchman.
The report states Raul, who won 16 trophies in 16 years at the Bernabeu, is the ‘ideal option’ for Perez. He insisted the Real legend returned to the club to take over as manager of their reserve team Real Madrid Castilla after spending time as a LaLiga ambassador in the United States.
Raul has been impressive since taking over the youth team but AS say there are doubts as to whether he is ready to make the step up.
Another option is former Tottenham boss Pochettino who has previously been linked with the job. Pochettino has been without a club since he was sacked by Spurs last November and would be a ready-made replacement for Zidane.
He guided Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 where they were defeated by Liverpool before suffering an awful start to the following season. The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic meant Zidane was not able to strengthen his squad during the summer but this has not spared him any criticism.
The Spanish press did not hold back after Real’s defeat by Shakhtar. Even Marca, the loyal Madrid-based sports paper, said the club are ‘on a freefall’ and claimed the mood in the dressing room was somber when Perez visited the team after the game.
While Barca also lost in LaLiga last weekend, Lionel Messi and co thrashed Hungarian side Ferencvaros 5-1 on Tuesday and go into El Clasico in a more confident mood.